FORT JOHNSON, La. — Due to a temporary reduction in staffing, Bayne-Jones Army Community Hospital is referring some higher risk obstetrics and gynecology patients to network providers in the communities surrounding the Joint Readiness Training Center and Fort Johnson, Louisiana to ensure the safe, quality of care BJACH pregnant mothers have come to expect.
Lt. Col. Grigory Charny, deputy commander of clinical services for BJACH, said patient safety is the most important thing we can offer our beneficiaries.
“I want to reassure our patients that they will get the best and safest care from our providers and if we are unable to accomplish this for some unforeseen reason, we will transfer them to another physician within our network who can,” he said. “All transfers are done with one-on-one physician to physician conversations between our doctors and our network partners regarding each individual patient and their prior care. We transfer all relevant information regarding each patient’s case and stay appraised of their outcomes.”
Maj. Daisy Conduah, chief of the BJACH OB/GYN department, said if it were up to her, her department would take care of every pregnant mother who walked through the door, but unfortunately it’s not always possible to do that safely.
“We often rely on backfill support from Fort Riley, Kansas and Fort Cavazos, Texas to help us meet the needs of our patients. “Due to current shortages of active-duty OB/GYN providers across the enterprise, we don’t always get that support and we need to send our patients to our partners in the community more often.”
“It is in the best interests of our patients to be referred off post for continuity of care,” Conduah said. “We recently had to refer out some of our projected October deliveries, moving forward we will be able to project out our capabilities better and refer patients out earlier in their pregnancy if necessary, before care has been established with our clinic.”
Conduah said active-duty Soldiers are prioritized, with military Family members and retirees next when it comes to care at BJACH.
“When we refer off post we first look at our higher risk patients and have
frank open conversations with them when considering referrals to network providers. Some patients voluntarily choose that option,” she said. “It’s more than just the OB/GYN department that are currently experiencing shortages, it’s also our anesthesia, nursing and other support services that are necessary for complicated deliveries.”
Conduah understands patient frustration, especially if they’ve been receiving care at BJACH and are now being referred off post.
“We have a criterion that we use for patients we treat at BJACH,” she said. “The patients we’re currently referring to network are at a higher risk. These are patients who have had Cesarian deliveries and now are attempting a trial of labor after cesarean (TOLAC) or vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC) which requires a team to stay in the hospital for the duration of the labor and delivery. This causes stress on our system that is already at capacity. So, it really is in the patient’s best interest to be transferred to a facility that has the capabilities to provide them with the safest care possible.”
“Our nurses and support staff have been working tirelessly to ensure there is no lapse in care of our patients,” Conduah said.
Ria Moore, the Joint Commission Coordinator for BJACH said patient safety is a core element of hospital leadership.
“We as a facility have leaders in place that put the safety and quality of care of our patients first,” she said. “When we focus on making the environment, our actions, and our policies focused on patient safety we can live up to our motto and provide the best for our beneficiaries. Our patient safety program helps guide the update of policies and procedures to ensure we are following the most current guidelines and resources in everything from labor and delivery to the care provided in our emergency department.”
Charny said the safety of patients is his number one priority and he is focused on building relationships with providers in the surrounding community.
Charny said he has found them to be committed, patriotic, patient centered, and generally very kind people from the chief executive officers, medical providers, nursing staff on down to every echelon in the facility.
Editor’s note: The Joint Commission Speak Up campaign is designed to help patients and their advocates become active in their health care the link below is for new parents because having a baby is a life-changing experience for new parents and it’s important to be alert to signs and symptoms when medical help is necessary. If you or advocate thing something is wrong it’s ok to speak up: https://www.jointcommission.org/resources/for-consumers/speak-up-campaigns/#sort=%40z95xz95xcontentdate%20descending